I hear people talking about the baptism spoken of in Romans 6 as the believer being baptized…immersed, in the water. Yet, I can find no mentioning of it there. I will not attempt to go verse-by-verse, as that would be too time consuming, making by blog post too lengthy, and having fewer readers actually reading it. So, I will attempt to hit the high points, addressing what baptism is actually being referred to. All of the verses I will use are in the YLT.
“What, then, shall we say? shall we continue in the sin that the grace may abound?let it not be! we who died to the sin — how shall we still live in it?are ye ignorant that we, as many as were baptized to Christ Jesus, to his death were baptized?’“(vss 1:3)
In verse 3, pay careful attention to as many as were baptized to Christ. Now, what is being baptized to Christ? Is the fleshly man? Is it the spirit, the soul of man that is baptized to Christ? I contend that the latter is true. When John the Baptist came preaching repentance, he baptized them with a water baptism unto repentance. In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist told them this; “I indeed do baptize you with water to reformation, but he who after me is coming is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to bear the sandals, he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” John could only baptize someone with water, and that is the only thing we can baptize with. It takes a working of the Spirit, being placed in Christ, and this can only take place via the Spirit of God. So how is it that water baptizes us to Christ? It can’t.
“this knowing, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of the sin may be made useless, for our no longer serving the sin;for he who hath died hath been set free from the sin.” (vss 6,7)
Our old man has been crucified with Christ. When Christ died, we died. When He raised, we raised. What He did, we do, because He did it for us. Then look deeper at verse 7. What died here that was set free from sin? Was it the flesh? No. Was in the soul? Yes. The flesh still has the stain of sin all over it, “it is still at enmity with God”(Romans 8:7). “It can not understand the things of the Spirit”(1 Cor. 2:14). The soul has been set free by the shed blood of Christ. It has been cleansed, it has now on it the wedding garment, waiting for the Bridegroom to call it home.
“so also ye, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to the sin, and living to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”(vs 11)
I think the verse that states “we are dead, and our lives are hid with Christ in God”(Col. 3:3), should suffice. We no longer live of ourselves, but it is rather, that “in Christ we live, move and have our being”(Acts 17:28). We are dead, the old man died, was crucified. Christ now lives within us, and “because He lives, we can live also”(John 14:19). We are Spiritually alive only because He lives within us.
“for sin over you shall not have lordship, for ye are not under law, but under grace.” (vs 14)
Sin no longer lords, or reigns, over us. Christ, the Stronger Man, came in and “cast the strong man out, and spoiled his goods”(Matt. 12:29). And after He ejects him out of that person, He tells that strong man “to never come back in to him again”(Mark 9:25). We now live unto Christ, no longer desiring to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Sure, there will be times when we sin, yet we will repent and go on. But we no longer desire to sin, yearn for sin, I am referring to the inner man, the soul/spirit of a man that has been brought from death unto life. That new life is in Christ, and as 1 Cor. 5:17 so poignantly states it; “so that if any one [is] in Christ — [he is] a new creature; the old things did pass away, lo, become new have the all things.”
“What then? shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? let it not be!have ye not known that to whom ye present yourselves servants for obedience, servants ye are to him to whom ye obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?and thanks to God, that ye were servants of the sin, and — were obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which ye were delivered up;and having been freed from the sin, ye became servants to the righteousness.” (vss 15-18)
In verse 18, it states, “and having been freed from the sin, ye became servants to the righteousness.” Again, what has been freed from sin? Was it the flesh? Was it the soul/spirit of man? I still contend it is the latter and not the former. In 1 John 3, John writes, “every one who hath been begotten of God, sin he doth not, because his seed in him doth remain, and he is not able to sin, because of God he hath been begotten.” John interestingly stated “because His seed in him doth remain.” We know that the word “seed” is meaning the word of God. We also know that Jesus is the “the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
“And now, having been freed from the sin, and having become servants to God, ye have your fruit — to sanctification, and the end life age-during;for the wages of the sin [is] death, and the gift of God [is] life age-during in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (vss 22,23)
Again, we read those pesky little words, “having been freed from sin”. Once more, what has been freed from sin. We know it is not the flesh, because that is all it wants to do. It is the inner man that has been unshackled from the chains of sin, that kept us in bondage to Satan. He had us burdened down with sin, has us in chains of bondage. Christ came and broke those chains off of us, toke Satan’s yoke of bondage off of us, which only held us back from serving our Creator. When Christ took Satan’s yoke off us, and put His on us. He tells us this in Matthew 11, “Come unto me, all ye labouring and burdened ones, and I will give you rest,take up my yoke upon you, and learn from me, because I am meek and humble in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls,for my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.” vss(28-30)
So there is no way that water is mentioned here as the baptism we received. The baptism here in Romans 6 is that baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire. This has to take place before the water baptism is of any benefit to the person. The water baptism does not free people from sin, does not make any of us a new creation/creature in Christ. Water does none of this.